Reconciliation – Remembrance Project 
August 25, 2023

High Springs Tax Increase


On Monday, the City Commission will set the tax rate for the coming year.  People have said we are considering a 26.6% increase.  Well numbers don’t lie, but they need context.  So, here is some context and information for citizens.

Why does the city just do without the increase?  Frankly, we have been, while at the same time we have been growing at a rapid rate.  Ten years ago our population was about half of what it is now and the millage rate was 6.15.  In the last 10 years the millage rate has been reduced THREE times, held the same SEVEN years, increased ONCE.  The proposed increase is only the second increase in ten years.

Budget Year:
 13/14 6.15%
 14/15 6.1326
 15/16 6.1326
 16/17 6.1326
 17/18 5.9972
 18/19 5.88
 19/20 5.88
 20/21 5.99
 21/22 5.99
 22/23 6.99

The City mileage rate only impacts the portion of your property tax that goes to the City.  So, if your proposed property tax bill is $1932 the increase is only on the $533 that would be going to the city of High Springs.

The 26.6% increase people have talked about comes from a state mandated requirement that says a city must publish the increase over the “roll-back rate”; which is the rate the city would charge to collect the exact same amount of funds collected the prior year.  The roll-back rate is approximately 5.54% and the proposed rate is 6.99% - a 26.6% increase.  The current millage rate is 5.99% and the proposed increase is 1% - so that number is 16.7% - which still seems a lot, so let’s turn those percentages into dollars. 

For a home with an assessed 2023 “market value” of $216K, with homestead exemptions, the tax paid to the city was about $435 LAST year (or $36 per month).  The proposed change to 6.99% would change that to $534 per year (or $44.50 per month).  If the increase happens, that means it will cost that property owner $98.50 over the next 12 months.

The millage rate is used for “General Fund” - those things that there are not special revenues like water, sewer, trash collection, Wild Spaces, Gas Tax.  General Fund pays for our parks, police, 1/3 of fire, city staff, a portion of streets, etc.  This year alone, almost $200,000 (2/3 of the increase) must pay for state mandated increases in retirement for police and fire personnel.  The city is being hit for increases in utilities, insurance and retirement - all of which we can’t control.  So, if you don’t support an increase, that is needed to maintain service - what would you like us to cut from the General Fund?  (NOTE:  If this post is shared I’ll only be able to respond to questions on the Campaign Page)

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